"but the acting is superb"
by Aline Waites for remotegoat on 22/09/18

There are so many stories nowadays about household slavery and the ill treatment of the deformed, or children, or those who cannot help themselves

This begins as a real horror story.

Maggie is a young girl, blind from birth, her mother is dead and her spirit communicates with the girl through the medium of the radio.

The father is a mineworker. He used to be quite well off but has fallen on hard times and his work at the mines is not conducive to happiness. He has told his daughter she is a princess and lives in a palace in order to instil confidence in her, and the ghostly mother gives her elocution lessons so that she can hold her head up in the world despite her disability.

Jimmy, the father keeps her on a lead and expects her to keep the house decent. She cooks for him and cleans. He is so unhappy in his work that he tends to drink too much and when he does, he becomes a complete monster and bullies her, torturing her verbally and physically. She is covered in bruises. Has taught her to bark like a dog if anyone comes to the door. She is a prisoner and oddly she loves him and seems to think that all children are treated the same way., although she would like to speak to Father Alderton, who keeps knocking at the door and saying nice things to her. Talking of God and so on. She is not allowed to let him in or even to speak to him. She has to bark like a dog to keep him away.

That is as much of the p lot as I can reveal without spoiling the story as there are many surprises in store for the audience.

Will Teller plays Jimmy the cruel father. His performance of a man who seems is incapable of kindness is absolutely terrifying and Hannah Torrington as Maggie plays throughout as a blind person with enormous sensitivity and never makes a fault a truly poignant performance.

Another character is Father Alderton, the man who we hear at the door but who we never get to see. The same actor Elliott Blogden an actor with an unusually interesting presence plays a kindly doctor, with a lot of under played charm.

This is a prize winning play and Jody Medland was described as “A deeply impressive writer with endless potential”

From a personal point of view I found it a little melodramatic and hard to take but the acting is superb. The play was well directed by the author but I felt it would have been good to get another mind involved in the production. Maybe a lighter touch?

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